As it turns out, I might be more of an introvert than I realized.
I always saw myself as more of an extrovert, but I’ve begun to recognize that I have strong introvert tendencies as well. For example, quiet time is what recharges me. This understanding was cemented for me when someone shared an amazing article about “Introverted Extroverts,” which describes me perfectly–and likely many others who’ve never really felt like either a true introvert or extrovert.
There were several examples in the article that I resonated with, especially:
- #8: You find friendships that need maintenance exhausting
- #10: You don’t like compliments
- #12: You like going out, but then you want to Ghost (aka the “Irish exit”)
Understanding the differences and nuances between introverts and extroverts can help us all better appreciate and manage our own innate needs and those of others.
I came across two great infographics that describe these differences (Graphic One, Graphic Two).
Introverts and extroverts are very different, both in how they operate, how they see the world and how they recharge their brains. At a high level, introverts tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds. Extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from other people.
Another example is how each personality type exits from social or group situations. Introverts typically prefer to “ghost,” meaning they tend to leave without saying their farewells. Extroverts, on the other hand, often perceive this behavior as being rude.
Extroverts may also push introverts to be more social and to “get out” more. What’s interesting is that you most likely won’t hear introverts pushing extroverts to have a little more alone time for self-reflection. Both can add value and both are things each personality type should work on.
As you can image, these differences can frustrate us, especially if we find ourselves working with or married to someone who is at the opposite end of the introvert/extrovert spectrum. However, one person’s strength is another person’s weakness; that combination can be powerful if managed with awareness. We also need to remember to treat others how they want to be treated, not how we want to be treated.
Regardless of whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, we can all do more to get outside our comfort zone while still playing to our strengths and being aware of the needs of others. I, for one, will push myself to go out more, but will no longer feel bad for “ghosting” when my energy is gone.
“Walk with me for a while, my friend—you in my shoes, I in yours—and then let us talk.”
Richelle E. Goodrich